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June 23, 2023

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

Free Health and Community Resources to be Provided

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2023) — National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring high-risk racial and ethnic populations receive optimal healthcare, along with  Centene Corporation, Xavier University of Louisiana and Fund II Foundation announced an upcoming annual community focused wellness event in New Orleans.

The Community Health and Wellness Festival will occur on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at Xavier University of Louisiana Fitness Center at 4645 Drexel Dr., New Orleans, LA, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. U.S. Representative Troy Carter (LA-02), Pro Football Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams, New Orleans native and Queen Sugar actress Tanyell Waivers will be special guests.

The event will provide a range of health services to community members from New Orleans. Health screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STI), blood pressure, diabetes, vision, and prostate health will be on site. There will also be assistance available to complete Medicaid and Federal Marketplace applications. Other activities include massage stations, haircuts, cooking demos, raffles, free headshots for students and free lunch.

President and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, Dr. Gary A. Puckrein, expressed enthusiasm about the event, stating, “We are honored to work with these organizations to bring these resources to the vibrant New Orleans community. Having access to healthcare resources and education is incredibly important for the most vulnerable members of the community to feel better informed about their health.”

Community organizations will also have booths on site with information on funding for Black businesses, internships, STEM, diversifying the workforce and bridging the digital divide at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). NMQF will also have a booth onsite to connect with people who are interested in sharing their health stories or helping to educate their communities on various health topics.

“We are proud to be a partner in bringing this health and wellness festival to our community,” said President of Xavier University of Louisiana, Reynold Verret. “Xavier is passionate about the health of New Orleans’ residents and particularly those who do not have equitable access to healthcare.”

“New Orleans is a city like no other, and today, Fund II Foundation is pleased to recognize the Hometown Heroes whose leadership helps “spark change” by enhancing the community’s health and wellness,” said Linda Wilson, executive director of Fund II Foundation. “We are proud to partner in this effort to bring care and resources to brighten the future for Black families, communities, students, and interns who are our legacy.”

“We at Envolve and Centene are proud to collaborate with the NMQF on the Community Health and Wellness Festival,” said David Lavely, president & CEO of Envolve Vision & Dental, a Centene subsidiary. “Preventive eye care is critical to overall wellbeing, and so we appreciate the opportunity to provide vision screenings and community health education as part of a great day.”

The Community Health & Wellness Festival was made possible with generous funding and support from our partners including Centene, Xavier University of Louisiana, CBC Health Braintrust, Fund II Foundation’s Black Maternal Health Equity and internXL initiatives, Student Freedom Initiative, Southern Communities Initiative and EXCELth Primary Health Care.

For more information,  please email NMQF Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs Adjoa Kyerematen at

About National Minority Quality Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. The mission of NMQF is to reduce patient risk by assuring optimal care for all. NMQF’s vision is an American health services research, delivery and financing system whose operating principle is to reduce patient risk for amenable morbidity and mortality while improving quality of life. For more information, please visit

About Xavier University of Louisiana

Xavier University of Louisiana, America’s only historically Black and Catholic University, is ranked among the top three HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) in the nation. Recognized as a national leader in STEM and health sciences, Xavier produces more African American students who graduate from medical schools each year than any other university in the United States. Additionally, Xavier’s College of Pharmacy is also among the top producers of African American pharmacists in the country.

Established in 1925, by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament as a place for African American and Native Americans to receive quality education, Xavier has since expanded its programs in art, business, education, biological sciences, chemistry, pharmacy and political science. More recent additions in robotics, bioinformatics, engineering, data science, neuroscience and genetics, in addition to new STEM-based master’s programs, have provided Xavier students (2,749 undergraduates and 849 graduates) an unbeatable combination of traditional classroom study, hands-on research, service-learning opportunities and life experiences. Xavier students collaborate with world-renowned faculty, who are experts in their fields, to produce award-winning research and notable work. The winning Xavier formula is to provide students with a well-balanced curriculum and an environment that nurtures their intellect and feeds their souls, thereby facilitating a more just and humane society for all. For more information about Xavier University of Louisiana, visit us online at or contact Regi Reyes at (504) 520-5425 or

About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives. The Company takes a local approach – with local brands and local teams – to provide fully integrated, high-quality, and cost-effective services to government-sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Centene offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare members (including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) as well as individuals and families served by the Health Insurance Marketplace and the TRICARE program. The Company also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide a variety of specialty services focused on treating the whole person. Centene focuses on long-term growth and value creation as well as the development of its people, systems, and capabilities so that it can better serve its members, providers, local communities, and government partners. For more information, please visit

About Fund II Foundation

Fund II Foundation was established in 2014 for the purpose of making grants to public charities. To date, Fund II Foundation has made grants worth nearly $250 million to a broad range of charities, including The United Negro College Fund, NPower, The Opportunity Network and The National Park Foundation. Our mission is to preserve the African-American experience; safeguard human rights; provide music education; preserve the environment while promoting the benefits of the outdoors; and sustain critical American values such as entrepreneurialism. For more information, please visit